77,000 divorces nationwide since lockdown began. These three things could save your marriage

A total of 76,786 divorces were filed in courts nationwide from March 2020 till August this year.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, in the Dewan Rakyat this morning, revealed that 66,440 cases involved Muslims, while the rest were non-Muslims.

Numerous versions of movement control orders and lockdowns were imposed since March last year following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Marriage and relationship therapist Faith Foo said the pandemic had led to more couples seeking counselling.

Foo, who is the founder and director of Abri Integrated Mental Health, said there were many stress factors that led to divorce during the lockdowns.

She revealed three things that should be done to save a marriage.

Talk it out

Communication is vital to ensure matters do not get worse. Talk to your spouse every night before you go to sleep. Share your struggles and the type of support you need from them. People tend to assume and presume their spouses understand them. If a problem is a result of one person not doing enough at home, it’s wise to have a clear distribution of house chores to eliminate constant prodding on whether a chore has been done.

Don’t hide emotions

Don’t tell your spouse they are the source of your sadness or anger. Others do not cause our feelings, instead, we cause them ourselves. You could be under a lot of stress but once you have acknowledged this as a problem, talk to your partner about it and see how he or she can offer solutions.

Seek help

Talking about your problems to a third party, including a counsellor, is still widely viewed as taboo, especially in Asian culture. However, the earlier one seeks intervention, the higher the chance of a marriage being saved. Seeking counselling only when a divorce decision has been made defeats the purpose of counselling.

Foo added: “We are so used to going to work, having small talks with colleagues and friends, heading to the gymnasium, or enjoying coffee after work. But with the pandemic, many no longer have this ‘me time’ and often find themselves living in a pressure cooker environment.”

She said couples were not just working from home but also had to do household chores and look after their children at the same time.

“While both husband and wife are stressed due to working from home, they also have expectations of each other. Arguments at home have been common due to the proximity. People are worrying more – from job security to the fear of catching Covid-19 whenever they go out to buy food.

“People are losing their patience, even among family members. Yet, the expectation is for our partners to understand what we are going through.”

According to Foo, these are underlying, unspoken, and invisible expectations one’s partner may not know about.

“You may have been spending time with your partner after work, and those moments were precious before the pandemic. But now, couples are seeing each other 24 hours a day and the interaction between them changes.

“Couples working from home are constantly thinking, who is going to cook, buy groceries, and do the household chores, and this can be stressful.”

Foo shared that she even met a couple who had decided to get a divorce because the lockdown gave the wife more time to reflect on her marriage.

“The wife used to constantly travel for work but with the lockdown, she had time to think about her marriage, and she decided to move on,” Foo shared.

“Here is a case of proximity leading to divorce. Being stuck with their other half for long periods of time meant there is no space to diffuse the stress.”

Malaysia recorded 50,862 divorces in 2018 and 56,975 divorce cases in 2019.

Foo pointed out that breakdowns in marriage during the pandemic was a global issue and it was not surprising to learn that the number of divorces had increased in Malaysia.

“It was already happening in China and Japan when the pandemic started and I suppose Malaysia has finally acknowledged the problem,” she added.

Here are Twentytwo13’s news highlights today.


Those intending to travel to Langkawi must get themselves tested for Covid-19, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

The decision by Khairy contradicted the stand made by Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, two days ago. She had said then, there was no need for visitors to be tested.

Langkawi, a popular tourist destination, will be open to fully vaccinated visitors beginning Sept 16.


Malaysia recorded 19,495 new Covid-19 cases as of noon today. This brings the total number of cases to 2,030,935.

Sarawak had the highest number of cases at 4,709, followed by Selangor (2,710) and Sabah (2,015).


Former Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said made a sudden appearance today as Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker.

Azalina said Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun, under the Parliament Standing Order 7(3), had asked her to chair the sitting temporarily.

She chaired the afternoon session of the sitting after Salim Sharif (BN-Jempol) delivered his speech on the Royal Address in Parliament.

Azalina resigned as deputy speaker on Aug 23.


The Communications and Multimedia Ministry launched two Internet packages – the Malaysian Family Youth Package and Malaysian Family Device Package.

Its minister, Tan Sri Annuar Musa, said the packages were to help students, especially those from lower-income families, to gain Internet access and get affordable gadgets.

At only RM30 for three months, those who signed up for the Malaysian Family Youth Package would get 20GB throughout the 90 days.

Those under 21 only needed to register using their MyKad, while students above 21 were required to register with their student cards.

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